Assassin’s Creed 2 In Medieval Manhattan?
OXCGN Unearths More Information: San Gimignano in AC2!
© 2009 David Hilton:- 2IC-SubE (OXCGN’s resident historian)
* For new details, photos and videos from E3’09, click here.
Medieval Manhattan. That’s what the little walled hill-top town in Tuscany named San Gimignano is often referred to for its many medieval towers.
Seen from afar the towered town looks like a smaller medieval version of Manhattan’s skyscrapered skyline. These towers were built by competing families both for protection from each other (think Romeo & Juliet) and to show power and prestige.
Assassin’s Creed 2 will be set in Renaissance Italy and specifically Venice and Florence. However, recent reports and photo scans from the upcoming Game Informer issue shows two shots of particular interest that show that Tuscany’s countryside and towns will also be locations the new protagonist, Ezio Auditore de Firenze, will visit.
• The existing towers of Tuscany and San Gimignano
• Updated shot (below) of artist’s scetches for AC2: compare to real life shots above.
I believe the towers in those shots are exact representations of those in San Gimignano. Have a close look at this shot and this one (both also shown above and below) and you can see the resemblance with the photos in this article.
Not only that, but the caption in the second shot reads: “The sprawling countryside of Tuscany is as alive with activity and mission content as the larger cities”.
• Ubisoft teaser video Full annoucements on 16th April
I can certainly picture Ezio climbing the towers, doing the Leap Of Faith jumps off them, or gliding with his new flight moves from tower to tower. San Gimignano is said to have had at its strongest 72 towers but now only has 15 left.
The winding alleys and walls would make for typical Assassin’s Creed exploration and evasion. The town was also a stopping point for Catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome and the Vatican, sitting on the medieval Via Francigena pilgrim route.
This would make it a possible meeting place or transit stay where assassinations could be committed away from the victim’s bases in larger cities. Fortified Tuscan hill-towns often fell under the influence of bigger more powerful surrounding cities like Florence or Siena, which re-enforces this possibility.
What do you think? Do the photos look impossibly similar, or am I reading too much into it? Let us know in the comments section below.
• UPDATED Article: Looks like I’m on the right track:
It looks like I’m on the right track with many of the historical and geographic details I suggest above being revealed in the full scans of the Game Informer article. While San Gimignano isn’t mentioned by name, it is most telling that the importance smaller medieval walled centres in Tuscany will play is: Ubisoft’s Patrice Desilets says:
There’ll be a lot more missions that go from one place to another. It’s not the feel of three cities and a place to travel in between…It’s a whole bunch of connected cities and continuous gameplay that links them together.
The article goes on to say: “Places like Florence would extend their military and political might across broad reaches of the surrounding countryside, controlling smaller towns and villages that might further the central city’s goals.”
Smaller towns like San Gimignano, I would suggest.
• Full 8 pages showing story and details
Here’s a recap on the various features announced only a few days ago (10-4/2009)
Assassin’s Creed 2 Features
• You’ll have a ton of new weapons to choose from including an axe, a hammer, a mace, a spear, 2 different sword types, a spear axe, and 2 smaller blades
• Da Vincis workshop is in the game
• Locations include Saint Marks Basilica, The Grand Canal, The Little Canal, and the Rialto bridge.
• The game opens in 1476, Altair is from 1191
• So you do indeed play as a new ancestor of Altair / Desmond
• You will see the countryside of Tuscany
• The “Auditore” family is mentioned
•The main characters name is Ezio Auditore de Firenze
• He is a nobleman of Florence
• Big characters are in the game including Machiavelli, Caterina Sofrza, and Lorenzo de Medici
• YOU DO INDEED GLIDE on Da Vincis flying machine.
• Game will feature a new notoriety system that governs how enemy soldiers and people will treat you.
• You can disarm enemies and use their own weapons against them this time.
• Each weapon has a special move.
• 16 unique mission types.
• No more ease dropping or pick pocketing missions.
• If you get beat up to much you will need to see a street side doctor to regain full strength.
• Hidden objects (like flags in the first one) are there to uncover but this time if you track them down you will get in-game bonuses that make it worth your time.
• Items include, flags, statues, and gold coins and more that isnt mentioned.
• New enemy types with unique attitudes and weaknesses are present in the game. Archers are mentioned, as well as elite enemies, dagger wielders,
• “Brutish” armored troops with heavy armor and 2 handed swords and axes, and an intelligent halberd enemy will probe hiding places with their weapons if they think you’re near by.
• While hiding in a hay bail you can assassinate people this time, but it may expose your position.
• You can still climb towers and ride horses
• The Lorendo de Medici assassination attempt is in the game.
• There is now a night and day sequence in the game.
• 240 people are working on this title.
More images to ponder over, including those believed to be of San Gimignano. Please feel free to discuss your thoughts on this excellent game. For those who love detailed environments and in-depth exploration and discovery, the Assassin’s Creed franchise is up there with the best.
Scans courtesy of Mondoxbox.